By Kelly Zhou

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Buzzers sounded pitches through the air to weave melodies.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, from 6 - 8 p.m., Orange County (OC) Engineering occupied a classroom at Ardent Academy Northwood. 

The classes aim to teach students the basics of engineering using interactive devices such as Arduino kits.

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Using a presentation replete with visuals, Wall-E references and mathematical backing, teacher and University High sophomore Patrick Liu taught students the basics of Arduino buzzers and ultrasonic sensors. Students watched as he ran through initialization, setup and writing loops.

“It’s really interesting to learn how to use software to program compatible electronics,” Liu said. “In the past I’ve used software like Arduino to create interactive projects that can be pretty useful [for instance] with medical uses.”

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Under Liu’s guidance, students played “Imperial March” and the Mario theme song on the buzzers. Through the sound of musical electronic tinkling, Liu helped students troubleshoot their code and modify their circuits.

“Students gain lots of problem solving experience [...] and lots of creative experience to solve these problems,” Liu said. “You’ve got to think of a lot of different ways to [troubleshoot], such as searching the Internet.”

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Camaraderie also blossomed among the students, who helped each other debug code and troubleshoot equipment.

Some students went ahead and played music of their own choice. One student determined the notes for “We Are Number One” by ear and coded it on his buzzer.

“If I ever need to code, now I know what to do,” eighth grade student Alyssa Tang said.